Handling Adversity

The reality of the situation is that everyone you meet is going through something, or has gone through adversity.  The devil is in how they hey handle adversity when it does strike.  It’s not so much about completely avoiding problems, and never having them, but rather how you deal with them when they do happen.  Because let’s face it, stuff happens.  If you’re like me, it happens far too often for comfort sometimes.

A lot of people who are acquaintances of mine assume that nothing bad ever happens to me.  Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Currently, I’ve been diagnosed with Melanoma for the second time, and will be having surgery for that.  This time, I caught it sooner than last time, so it was in Situ.  I’ve had to deal with a child who was born 3 months early, who had a lot of hurdles to overcome.  I was on bed rest for 6 months with the next pregnancy, and 2 months for the third pregnancy.  My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was only about 13 years old, and I became one of her primary caregivers.  In fact, my dad used to leave on business trips for up to a month at a time, even when I was that age, and I was responsible for cooking, grocery shopping, and even paying the family’s bills, because there was no such thing as automatic bill pay in those days.  I’ve known adversity.  The question is how I’ve handled it.

The deal with adversity is that everyone faces some problem or another.  To each of us, it is in biblical terms, our own cross to bear.  What defines us, and sets us apart is how we bear that cross, and how we handle the adversity which is placed in our way.  Do you choose to let it take over your life, or do you deal with it and move on?  Do you ever just want to crawl up into a ball, and ignore life?  Or do you pull out your big girl panties and just deal with it?  I do get that some people have mental health issues, and deal with depression.  In their case, seeking medical attention, and taking medication may require great courage, and may be what they need to do to handle adversity.  Not everyone’s problems are the same.

How do you deal with adversity?  Does it fire you up, and make you want to fight, and win?  Or do you run away?  Do you pick your battles, and decide what’s worth fighting for, and what night be worth shouting about?  Everyone handles it differently, but it does speak volumes about who we are as people, and how we value ourselves.

Leaders embrace adversity, because they know that it is how they handle that adversity which sets them apart from the crowd.  They don’t shy away from problems because they are uncomfortable to deal with.  Neither do they just rip people to shreds, roughly.  They face adversity head-on, with kindness, and with skill.  That is the mark of a true leader, and someone worth following.

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